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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Psychotherapy and Mental Health
Module Code NS5018
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ray B O'Neill
Semester 2: Ray B O'Neill
Autumn: Ray B O'Neill
Module TeachersRay B O'Neill
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat the module
Repeat the Module: The assessment of this module is inextricably linked to the delivery. The student must reattend the module in its entirety in order to be reassessed.

The purpose of this module is to advance students’ understanding of mental health issues, bringing a critical, reflective, and multi-theoretical and cross-cultural sociological perspective and humility to client presentations in psychotherapy practice. The module also attends to how participants can use an adaptable and integrative framework to psychotherapy assessment, case-formulation and treatment planning. In this module students will develop knowledge and skills in integrative psychotherapy practice in the context of working with a diversity of clients with complex, multifaceted histories and needs with a particular focus on trauma-care and awareness. The approach adopted will address the needs of participants as theoretically informed and skills-based integrative psychotherapy practitioners. Students are expected to attend lectures, seminars, and discussions to complement their self-directed learning activities through supplementary readings in relevant theoretical and empirical literature.

Learning Outcomes

1. A critical appreciation of how early experiences and traumatic events influence development.
2. Personally reflect and take responsibility for education around both personal, as well as social, biases, prejudices, and blind spots, positive or negative, they may hold consciously or unconsciously around cultural informings in/to/within aspects of mental health. Considering factors such as Race, Gender, Sexuality, Social Class within mental health discourses and practices.
3. Critically appreciate and reflect on one's own, as well as society’s, differing assessments, judgments, and understandings of addiction within the individual and within/for society.
4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of bio, psycho, socio-cultural dimensions and multidisciplinary approaches to diagnosis, categorisation, formulation, and treatment.
5. Apply the principles of an integrative and developmental framework to assessment, case-formulation, treatment planning and outcome in order to better inform clinical practice and supervisory engagements.
6. Appreciate and question, both for themselves and for clients, the interplay of sociological and cultural factors on mental health and mental health discourse.
7. Engage in ongoing active reflective engagement and practice to track bias, presumptions, questions, concerns and learnings that evolve and emerge through the activities and learnings on this module and evidence your ongoing formation as an integrative, reflective, clinician.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture15Didactic Teaching/ Lectures
Directed learning15Seminar groups; Application of Theory to Practice; Therapeutic Skills Practice; Personal and Professional Awareness Activities.
Tutorial5Tutor led formative engagement with individual students and learning groups.
Group work15Small group research preparations and in-class presentations on set specific themes on Psychotherapy and Mental Health.
Assignment Completion10Module Workbook and Reflective Learning Journal engagements across the module in response to in-class preparations, key questions, and provocations.
Independent Study65Self-directed learning; Course Reading; Literature Searching, Clinical Essay Assignment Preparation, and Submission.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Early Influences on Development:
Influences of a range of early infant/childhood experiences on psychological development and ongoing mental health.

Trauma and Resilience
Conceptualisation of trauma from different theoretical perspectives: psychological impact of traumas, Recognising and Building Resilience.

Loss, Bereavement and Suicide
Critical consideration of mental health and psychotherapy discourses and clinical work, in relation to loss, bereavement and suicide.

Addiction and Society
A critical consideration of addiction and differing discourses around addictive and/or compulsive behaviour, for and within both the individual and society.

Diversity in Approaches to Formulation and Treatment
Multidisciplinary & Culturally competent approaches to diagnosis, categorisation, formulation & treatment of mental health issues.

Integrative Psychotherapy and Mental Health
Applying the principles of an integrative and developmental framework in psychotherapy practice.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayClinically Grounded Essay assignment - 2000 words40%Sem 1 End
Reflective journalModule Workbook and Reflective Learning Journal engagements across the module in response to in-class preparations, key questions, and provocations.40%As required
Group project Small group presentations on set specific themes on Psychotherapy and Mental Health.20%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Bradshaw, John: 2006, Healing The Shame That Binds You, Health Communications,, New York,
  • Brampton, Sally: 2009, Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression, Bloomsbury, London,
  • Chayut, Noam: 2013, The Girl Who Stole My Holocaust, Verso Press,
  • Davies, James: 2014, Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good, Icon Books, London,
  • Eddo-Lodge, Reni: 2017, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Bloomsbury,
  • George, Sheldon: 2016, Trauma and Race, Baylor University Press,
  • Hardy, Kenneth: 2023, Racial Trauma: Clinical Strategies and Techniques for Healing Invisible Wounds, Norton Press,
  • Herman, Judith: 2015, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence, Basic Books,
  • Kernberg, O. F.: 0, The psychotherapeutic treatment of borderline patients, In J. Paris (ed.), Borderline personality disorder (pp. 261 – 284), American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC:,
  • Lalor, K. (ed.): 2001, The End of Innocence, Oak Tree Press, Dublin, 1860762204
  • Levine, P.: 2010, In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 9781556439438
  • Mace, C.: 1995, The Art and Science of Assessment in Psychotherapy, Routledge, London,
  • Mate, Gabor: 2018, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Vermillion, New York,
  • Ogden, P., Minton, K., & Pain, C.: 2006, Trauma and the body, Norton, London,
  • Orange, D.M., Atwood, G.E., & Stolorow, R.D: 1997, Working Intersubjectively, The Analytic Press., Hillsdale, NJ,
  • Perry, Philippa: 2020, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, Penguin, London,
  • Read, J. & Sanders, P.: 2011, A straight talking introduction to the causes of mental health problems, PCCS Ltd., Ross-on-Wye, Herts., 9781906254193
  • Rothschild, B.: 2000, The body remembers, Norton, New York, 0393703274
  • Salberg, Jill & Grand, Sue: 2017, Wounds of History: Repair and Resilience in the Trans-Generational Transmission of Trauma, Routledge,
  • Sanderson, C.: 2013, Counselling skills for working with trauma, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, 9781849053266
  • Scheper-Hughes, Nancy: 2001, Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics, Metal Illness in Rural Ireland, U of California Press.,
  • Slepian, Michael: 2022, The Secret Life of Secrets, Robinson Press,
  • Smith, Julie: 2022, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?, Penguin,
  • Stoute, Beverly J., Slevin Michael: 2023, The Trauma of Racism: Lessons from the Therapeutic Encounter, Routledge,
  • Tracey, Patrick: 2008, Stalking Irish Madness, Random Press, New York,
  • Van der Kolk, Bessel: 2019, The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, Penguin, London,
  • Whitaker, Robert: 2015, Anatomy of an Epidemic, Broadway Books, New York,
  • Wolynn, Mark: 2017, It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End It,
Other Resources

59990, Journal, 0, Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 59991, Journal, 0, Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 59992, Journal, 0, Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice., 59993, Journal, 0, Journal of Counselling Psychology, 59994, Journal, 0, The Counselling Psychologist, 59995, Journal, 0, European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 59996, Journal, 0, Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, 59997, Journal, 0, Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, 59998, Journal, 0, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 59999, On-line data base, 0, PsycArticles, 60000, On-line data base, 0, SAGE journals online, 60001, On-line data base, 0, ScienceDirect, 60002, Journal, 0, Psychotherapy Research,
Programme or List of Programmes
MCOUMasters in Psychotherapy
Date of Last Revision07-OCT-10

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